While soccer is out of season, the Steamboat Soccer Club kept the energy alive by hosting both a soccer academy and tournament in July.
The Steamboat Soccer Academy had the biggest boom in its history with nearly 500 children showing up to the weeklong camp, beating the previous attendance record by about 100 participants.
Club staff members Fields and Kelly Brown said they have greatly enjoyed seeing such an increase in participation since joining the club in spring 2022.
“I think Steamboat is getting on the map,” Kelly said. “I think there is a huge demand for this type of camp post-COVID. Families want to vacation and get out, and kids want to enjoy an extended day option, which is what they had here at the academy.”
The academy ran from July 5-13 with each day consisting of three training sessions with fun experiences around Steamboat in between each session. The participants went hiking, swimming, did yoga and even had classroom presentations covering nutrition, recruitment, psychology and more.
According to the Browns, what separates the Steamboat camp from so many others is its ability to incorporate high-level soccer training, while also providing a chance for the athletes to enjoy their time around town and have a mini-vacation.
The academy drew such a large amount of interest, organizers had to shut down registration because they reached the lodging limit at Colorado Mountain College where they were housing players. However, The Ptarmigan Inn then came into the picture and offered space for players, allowing registration to open back up and expand participation.
The club recognizes the impact so many local organizations had on making the academy run as smoothly as possible and stressed their appreciation for all the help.
“There were a lot of moving parts to the academy this year and we couldn’t have put on such a great event without the help from the community,” Kelly said.
After the camp’s conclusion, the club hosted the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament from July 14-17.
Six states were represented at the tournament and a total of 92 teams competed.
Fields Brown was extremely impressed with how smoothly the tournament operated and credited all the event’s volunteers.
This was another opportunity for players to improve their soccer skills while also enjoying what Steamboat has to offer.
“We attracted some really high-level talent of coaches, players and teams that wanted to come up here and be a part of the community for the week, and we feel like that’s something that only elevates our small mountain club in town,” Fields said.
On the soccer side of things, the Steamboat U14 girls won their bracket and multiple other Steamboat teams made the finals, giving local soccer players the opportunity to compete against teams from all over and strengthen their skills as players.
The Browns said they are looking forward to the continued soccer boom in Steamboat, and they are striving to make their club as inclusive and accessible as possible.
“As we continue to see numbers go up, it is our aim to make this the place to be for summer soccer, as we strive to continue to provide the best for our Steamboat Soccer Club players, coaches and members by bringing in the best to join us in Steamboat Springs,” Fields said.
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.